My 20 year old paddle float has finally held it last air and went to the trash. I’m looking to replace it and looking for any recommendations.
It definitely needs to be inflatable, preferably with just one air chamber, and also a smaller size would be desirable.
I’ve only seen and handled the currently available NRS and it seems to be way too big.
There seems to be very few choices available, so I’d welcome any suggestions for paddle floats that are actually available AND that mostly fit my criteria.
Although my old P/F was probably used hundreds of times for teaching and practice, I never used it out of necessity. I have an adequate roll, as well as many other re-entry methods.
Thanks in advance—
Umingmaq Paddling Center stocks a compact float (made for Greenland paddles but at 9” wide it will fit others.). They have another cheaper one that is larger, the Paddle Buddy. But both are dual chamber.
The North Water foam paddle float is probably the best paddle float Ive seen, id choose it any day over any other foam or inflatable float.
Not as much flotation. I have one I use in the winter…
Personally I have found even with re-entry and rolls the NW float provides more than enough support, I was even considering cutting some foam out to make it thinner. To each their own I guess
Many larger people find that rigid paddle floats do not have sufficient floatation to perform a self rescue. If you have one, check it out. You should practice with it anyway.
Dual chamber paddle floats add a margin of safety. I’ve had the valve come off a paddle float and another where the inflator tube broke over the many years that I’ve had them. As most paddle floats have about the same amount of floatation, I haven’t noticed much difference in bulk between the two. There are very few single chamber floats made anymore.
Since I paddle 99% of the time with GP’s and have had trouble getting my old bulky float (Harmony?) to snug around them, I am probably going to get that GP sized one from Umingmaq. I’ll report back on its utility. It should fit my Euros, too, none of them being wider power blade paddles.
Wildwasser Multifloat. Also deflatable flat in under a second. One left.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY. 12538
I’ve had one of those for many years and the ability to instantly deflate is a bonus. I have to admit it isn’t my go-to paddle float, though, but I keep it inflated in the bow of my boat to keep whatever I stash in the front hatch from sliding forward. Solid unit.
i wasn’t kidding when I said Last One. Seattle Sports double chamber and Northwater solid floats remain.
NRS inflatable with 2 air cells is the only way to go. One day you will need to rescue a larger person and you will be glad you have the added buoyancy - so will the person you rescue.
I like a two chamber for safety.
Ive never actually tried a blow up one, ill give it a go if i have the opportunity to try one. Im a bit skeptical of having a float that needs to be blown up.
Thank you for all the replies and the suggestions.
After careful consideration, I went with this:
It’s pretty quick to inflate both chambers, stores in a minimum of space, and has a high degree of floatation. A rigid paddle float is a bit quicker and easier to use, but it’s worthless if it does not have enough floatation for the user.
Is that like the Seattle one? That’s kind of an old dependable and I always feel that the brighter it is the better. For safety!
I own a couple of foam floats (Harmony and North Water) and 3 blow ups. I’ve done self rescues with them all. I prefer a blow up float over the foam for a couple of reasons.
- While it’s true that you have to blow it up for it to do you any good it only takes a few good breaths to accomplish that and in my experience they provide more floatation than the foam floats. The drawback to the blow ups is that most of them are not quick to deflate.
- I don’t like having a foam float taking up space on my deck. True, they are flat and conform to the deck OK they do take up space that I prefer to keep open. The blow up float rolls up small and fits inside the cockpit between the hull and cheek plate on my Progression between the hull and under deck bag in the Tempest.